Managment Consulting Analyst (Job description varies per project)
I really enjoyed my placement with Accenture. I was unsure exactly which career direction I wanted to go in (and if I am honest, I was never certain consulting was the most suited career for myself - but felt this area would give me the opportunity to discover different sectors I would be interested in working in in the future). Accenture certainly provided me with this opportunity as I have worked in 4 completely different sectors, both based in London as well as other UK cities and abroad. I found the company was also very social, both within the group of interns as well as within different departments. There are many networking events organised. However, I would say to get the most out of placement at this company, you do have to be very willing to meet new people and attend events. There are many opportunities available, but you do have to go out and find them yourself.
I found majority of my managers were grateful for my input and I was regularly thanked for helping. I did not feel as though I was seen as an intern, which I appreciated, but really felt as though I was a permanent employee - but just needed a little more guidance and management at times!
Most of my managers sat me down at the beginning of a project and wanted to understand what I wanted to get out of the project and what skills I wished to develop. As interns we are expected to complete a form with our goals for the project and how we will achieve these. This was very helpful, and at the end of the project I had conversations with my managers on how such skills developed as well as other appraisal/constructive criticism. I was placed on various different projects, and naturally there will always be busier times in a project. At these points I sometimes did feel as though I wasn't really managed properly. This could get frustrating at times, but managers were always very approachable and I felt if I really needed to talk they would find the time to.
How busy I was really did vary per project. Some projects I was non-stop on which I really enjoyed, often these were the projects which had a lot of structure and I knew my regular responsibilities. Other projects I did find there were times when I had very little on my plate. This was a little annoying as I did feel like a waste of space, but luckily it didn't happen too often. However, I always felt I could ask for more work if I wanted it. Additionally, it is important to say that between projects you can be put on the 'bench', which is essentially time you take to search for a new project, network, help at recruiting events, and undertake training. I enjoyed this time as it gave me the opportunity to meet other employees in other sectors at the company, but you do have to be very proactive to find a new project. If you are not, then you can be on the bench a while and therefore are not busy with work.
Again this varied a lot depending on the project I was on. Certain projects I was surprised with how much responsibility I was given, considering my lack of experience. This I really enjoyed, and even found this when I was client facing. Other projects I felt as though I was just doing the back admin, picking up little jobs here and there which weren't that essential to the project. However, overall I would say I was given the right level of responsibility, and again I always felt I could ask for more if I wished.
I would say that the skills I have developed haven't helped me with the specific content of my degree. However, I do feel as though I have really developed my teamwork skills, as well as persereverence with tasks. This I think will be particularly useful in my degree as this year has taught me to be more dedicated to a task, prioritising the most important aspects and completing tasks to the highest quality - particularly under time pressure.
In the Accenture offices the atmostphere was great. I always felt like I was in a hard working yet relaxed and fun environment. There is a hot desk policy, which means you sit next to people of all levels, and the glass offices makes the office feel very open and trusting. However, the nature of consulting means that you will not necessarily be based in the Accenture offices, but can be in the client offices. The atmosphere of these really vary, however, when away I did find Accenture teams were far more social and the atmosphere of Accenture colleagues was always great.
I think in general the placement was well setup. The company is very big, but all managers I was under seemed to have a fairly good idea of how the internship was setup and how to manage us. Although you are supposed to have two 6 month projects, due to the changing nature of project timelines, this doesn't always happen (I had more than 2), but unless you are really enjoying your one project you will always be able to experience more than one project which is really important and beneficial. I would say, however, that time on the bench could be managed better. As an intern it is not easy to find another project, and I feel as though this is an area Accenture can improve on - not just in term of helping interns find another project but also ensuring their time is spent usefully whilst also looking (e.g. setup training, or organise other Business Development work).
I felt as though the company invested a lot of time and money into me. This was through ensuring I truly experienced the consulting life - e.g. travelling to client site, and treating me well (via expenses and other perks) when I was working away from home. This does make a big difference when you are away for long periods of time. Therefore, I felt I as though my consulting experience was maximised and I was happy. Therefore, I was able to work to my best ability and focus on developing my skills. However, it is important to note that I feel Accenture invested in my personal training and development by 'learning on the job'. Interns are not able (unless the client pays for the whole account) to undertake formal training and gain qualifications. There are only Accenture training sites you can learn from, but you do not gain formal qualifications from.
I have not heard the result of my placement yet, but graduate job offers are availble if you deserve them (providing you peform well, show enthusiasm and initiative). Following each of your projects, your manager completes a form on your performance at which they advise on whether a job offer should be given.
There was a very good social scene amongst my fellow placement colleagues. Although there are not regular events setup by the company, the recruitment team do encourage start groups to setup whatsapp groups and organise events together. The nature of consulting obviously means you will spend the induction week together (which is SO well organised for meeting and mixing with people), but then unfortunately you are all sent to different offices. So the social scene is dependent on how much fun and up for socialising your start group are on all returning to London. I have made some amazing friends this year and have already been on holiday with them.
London is very expensive. However, consulting means you may travel to other locations which are much cheaper. When travelling, Accenture also has an expenses policy to ensure you are not out of pocket.
London is has an amazing life. However, other cities/towns which you may have to travel to do not necessarily (I have had a real mixed bag). Although, when out of town Accenture teams do normally go out for dinner or have fun socials in the evenings.
There are opportunities - charity days which you can use and sports events which accenture provides entry for. There are also many different (almost like) 'societies' which you can join and get involved with.